Why You Shouldn’t Lie On Your Resume

Why You Shouldn’t Lie On Your Resume

The race to get good jobs today is getting tougher by the day. Due to the high level of competition for places, the requirements for positions are higher than ever. That is why you might be tempted to lie on your resume. However, there are severe consequences of lying on your resume. You will discover 8 of the worst ones in this article.


Why do people lie on their resumes?

Due to the fear of the consequences, it is fair to assume that only a few people lie on their resumes. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In fact, most people lie on their resumes. For instance, in a survey conducted in the UK by CV-Library, over a whopping 90% of workers admitted to having lied on their resumes. That’s not all, they also got away with it.

Now, is it a crime to lie on a resume?

Technically, lying on a resume is not a crime because a resume is not a legal official document. Yet, it is completely unethical to lie on a resume. Lying on a resume is widely frowned upon and it comes with severe consequences if found out. Also, many people are daily living in the fear of not getting caught.

So, why do people lie on their resumes?


To get a good job.

The most obvious reason why people would want to take the risk regardless of the consequences is to make ends meet. Jobs are not always easy to come by, especially the good ones. Sometimes, only one or two qualities might be lacking on a resume which could prove costly not having them. Instead of letting one or two qualities get in the way of some people’s dreams, they would rather include them. The intimidation, uncertainty, and fear of failure weigh heavy on people’s minds. Add desperation to the mix and you will find many who will lie all over again to get what they desire. For some, they have a plan; working towards gaining all the qualities they lack on the job before it becomes noticeable.

To get a fresh start.

While most of the reasons for lying on a resume are based on professional advancement, some reasons are much deeper. People go through different experiences in life that they want to be rid of in every way possible. From abusive pasts to previous misdemeanors, some people need a fresh start they cannot get unless they lie. For instance, people with a criminal record lie to get a decent job where they will not be judged by their past. Also, some people lie about the places they lived previously to cut ties with what they left behind for various reasons.

For a higher salary.

The more qualified you are for a job is the more you are likely going to get paid. It’s not rocket science; it’s a fact. Some ambitious people do not just want to get a good job, they want to earn a high salary. Lying on a resume has gotten people jobs that pay higher than they deserve. Some have gone on to get even higher-paying jobs than the previous ones they lied to get. The consequences of these unethical actions can be both swift and without remorse. This is because, for every position someone occupies, another qualified person is denied an opportunity.

To seem more experienced.

In the labor market, having a wealth of experience is important. For most roles, the most experienced candidate gets favored ahead of others, and understandably so. Lying on a resume can make people seem more experienced than their counterparts. There are so many lies that job seekers can tell on their resumes to give them a major boost in terms of getting the job. Since no one in their right mind would turn down a highly experienced candidate who is qualified for the job, those who lie on their resumes have gotten jobs they could never get if they were honest.



Why you should never lie on your resume


Detecting the lies can be easier than you think

This tops the list when it comes to reasons you shouldn’t lie on your resume. Not only is there a possibility that you will get found out, but your lies can also be easily detected. Starting from the interview, some interviewers can be thorough and direct with their questions when you hand them your resume. For example, your interviewer could have some of the qualities you lied about on your resume. You could easily get caught if they decide to ask you questions you must know only if you had those qualities. Likewise, social media says a lot about people these days. Employers purposely search for job seekers to run a quick background check on them. When some information does not add up, you could get found out easily. Some companies go as far as contacting the institution or previous place you claimed to work just to confirm. Therefore, have a rethink before lying on your resume.


Before the thought of getting sacked comes, your lack of skill could be clear to see. Lying on your resume means that there are things you said you could do but can’t in reality. Interestingly, you will be getting a role doing that job that requires that skill, qualification, or experience to do. Since you are obviously lacking in those areas, your incompetence would start to show. The more that happens is the more you would underperform on the job. What is expected of you will not be delivered which would begin to raise eyebrows later on. Your days are numbered once they start to suspect something is not adding up with you.

Getting the sack

The first and most obvious repercussion of lying on a resume is getting sacked. Although there are many other consequences of lying on a resume, many of which have more serious effects, getting sacked is the first thing that most people dread. Only a few bad news can match knowing that you just got fired. The worst part is that word gets around fast in the industry. As soon as more people find out about this, the reason starts to unfold. People end up losing their source of livelihood, cannot afford to pay their bills, and getting another job becomes difficult.

You may lose your license

One of the perils of lying on your resume is that you could lose your hard-earned license. Many professions and careers require a license to operate in the field. For instance, doctors may lose their license to practice medicine if they are tried for having false information on their resume. Teachers, therapists, attorneys, and more professionals could lose their licenses as well if the secret comes out. It is a complete betrayal of trust which could be considered unethical and dangerous to people around them.

Loss of reputation.

There’s more to lose than your job when you get caught in such a scandal as lying on your resume. Many people have created an astonishing reputation for themselves in what they do for a living. Some even have become role models for children and those new to their field. When word gets out that such an esteemed person in the industry is being tried for perjury, it soils their name automatically. The legacy some spent most of their careers forming crumbles whenever they lose their reputation in such a way. Indeed, a good name is better than silver and gold. Getting another opportunity becomes extremely difficult because your reputation already precedes you in the industry.

Jail time.

Besides losing your license, there could be worse consequences ahead. Depending on the severity and sensitivity of the breach of trust, someone who lies on their resume might go to jail. Of course, lying on a resume is not illegal, but there are certain laws, contracts, and company policies that could make it a criminal offense. These are grounds where the consequences of your action and falsehood could result in jail time. Some industries or fields do not tolerate such perjury and even though the company does not want to file a lawsuit against an employee. Thus, the union might insist on taking legal action against the employee.

You could get the company in legal trouble

Not only will you be in the soup if you get found out; your company might suffer as well. From those directly superior to you to those who interviewed and hired you, many people might be in danger of losing their jobs because of you. Also, once word gets out that an employee is involved in perjury, other competitors could look to capitalize on it. Likewise, the regulatory body of the industry under which your company operates could decide to take legal action against the company. In corporate organizations, such a scandal could disrupt the organization, cause a hostile takeover, or make senior employees go to jail.

You could cost the company money, contracts, clients, or reputation

There is more damage lying on a resume can cause to an organization besides landing them in legal trouble. Firstly, it could cost them their reputation. Organizations pride themselves on the values they are known for. Their values and ethics could get called into question when this happens. Next, such an organization might begin to lose clients. Some clients do not want to be involved with a scandalous company that could drag their name in the mud. This in turn would result in the loss or reduction in revenue for the company. Fewer clients equal fewer chances of making a profit.


Major lies told on a resume

Lying on a resume is nothing new. People lie about almost anything as long as it would give them an advantage ahead of others. The most common things people lie about are the following;


Lying about age is tricky because virtually all your previous records from school days have this record. However, there are ways people get it done. Age is one of the most unfair factors that make employers deem candidates unfit for a position. In a situation where a candidate has all the qualities and qualifications needed for a role, they lie about their age.


This is one of the most dangerous lies to tell on a resume. Yet, many have told it. Educational background plays a major role in landing jobs. That is why a select few institutions turn scores of applicants away due to limited places. The degrees and certificates acquired over time make a candidate seem better equipped to take on a role than their counterparts. Thus, lying about education is not rare.

Previous work experience.

Previous work experience is probably the most important factor that gets people jobs. Indeed, job applicants don’t have a wealth of work experience to refer to. Hence, many lie about working for various companies in the past and gathering a wealth of experience during that time. This is also one of the riskiest lies to tell on a resume.

Previous salary.

Especially during interviews, candidates are often asked the question of what their salary expectations are. Also, companies try not to overpay workers, so, they like to find out how much they had been earning. Since every professional wishes to be paid higher than what they currently receive, some lie about their previous salary. By doing so, their new employers will certainly pay them more than they earned previously.


Besides the educational background and previous experience, soft skills are some of the most sought-after qualities in the labor market. Thus, people lie about having certain skills that they never had. This sort of lie can be easy to get away with because many soft skills can be learned on the job.


Final thought

Lies on resumes come in different forms. Most of the lies are clever, while others are ridiculous. It is sometimes understandable why people lie on their resumes but it remains an unethical behavior. Not only will it land the culprit in hot water, but those around them could also be in trouble as well. Have you ever lied on your resume? Tell us how it happened down there in the comments section.

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